I don’t get much time to dream kyunki main zyada sota nahi. Salman Khan

globalmovie     26 Jul,2019         No Comment

“Age can be scary. You need to work harder.” –salman-khan-propose-main

Salman Khan has a deceptive nonchalance about him. He appears misleadingly casual about his films and his celebrity status. There’s no attempt to intellectualise his work or an effort to impress. But those close to him know how committed he’s as an artiste. He plays a man from 27 to 72 in Ali Abbas Zafar’s Bharat. For that he’s revisited changing landscapes of time and emotions, just as he switched from silhouette to silhouette to be in sync with the character’s altering physicality. It could also mark his gentle initiation into doing mature roles. He’s candid about consciously having to keep the ‘old man’ at bay. He’s forthcoming about having to jostle with aches and pains even as he packs a punch on the screen. The heartwarming honesty perhaps comes from the fact that the megastar has not lost touch with the person he is. Perhaps, his late-night rendezvous with painting and writing and perhaps the shadows that have stalked the spotlight have helped him keep the conversation going with himself… Excerpts…
What made Bharat special?
The reason for doing this film was the plot. A nine-year-old boy is given the responsibility of taking care of his mother and three siblings by his father. From the age of nine to 72, this person does everything to keep his family together. They nag him to settle down but he keeps his promise against
all odds.

Somewhere, it reflects your own life story. You’ve always been known to support your family and friends.
It’s the opposite. (Laughs) They’ve supported me all along. I need their support instead.

How difficult was it to get the curve of your character right in Bharat?
It was difficult but fun. I had to lose a lot of weight to play the 27-year-old. Then I had to put on weight right away to look 55. There’s a difference of 15 kilos between the two looks. Then, I had to come back to looking like a 27-year-old as you can’t shoot all the portions all at once. It was fun because I saw some of my old films as a reference point. It was hilarious.

Why hilarious?
The innocence, which was there in me then, is lost today. The nayapan, the rawness… has gone. I cringe when I watch some of my earlier songs. I watched films like Nischay, Jagruti, Chandramukhi, Chand Ka Tukda… Oh God, those jackets! But Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! and Hum Saath Saath Hain had a different Salman altogether. The director makes such a difference.

Priyanka Chopra was the original choice as the female lead. Has Katrina Kaif been a good option?
In fact, Ali Abbas Zafar (director) and I had thought of taking Katrina earlier on. But Ali was unsure whether she could play the role of a Hindustani girl. I said, ‘Common yaar, you’ve worked with her a couple of times. Don’t you have confidence in her? Katrina’s been here for the last 20 years. She’s done films like Raajneeti, Raj Kumar Santoshi films…’  Later, he said, ‘Priyanka ka phone aaya tha that she wants to do this film’. Priyanka was keen on doing Bharat. She had also told my sister Arpita (Khan) about it as they’re close. But then she chose to get married with Nick Jonas, which is a bold and brave and step to take. She did the right thing. She got married. She got what she wanted. Katrina got what she wanted.

How did you get to know Priyanka wanted to opt out?
Priyanka took this call five days before our schedule was to start. She came home and told me she was getting married. I said we’d adjust those three-four days. She said she had to get the clothes ready. I said the designer would take care of that. Then she said she doesn’t know the actual dates. (Smiles) Usually, one would’ve said shaadi ek saal baad karenge, abhi yeh picture kar lete hai. But she chose to get married. She’s done the gutsiest thing. She’s one of our most hard-working actresses ever. To keep her career alive both here and there and then refuse an important film to get married… it’s amazing.

You reportedly said Katrina would get the National Award for her performance in Bharat.
She told me, ‘The way you’re going about saying that I’ll get a National Award for Bharat, everyone thinks it’s a joke’. I said, ‘Baba I’m serious about it’. She truly deserves a National Award for this film. It’ll be a unanimous choice.

The film has Katrina proposing marriage to you. Has any girl proposed to you in real life?
No, so far it’s never happened. (Smiles) Because I don’t do candlelight dinners. I can’t see what I’m eating in candlelight. But I do feel sad that I haven’t been approached yet.

Were you nervous about fans accepting your experiment with your looks in the film?
I was told that if a hero sports a bald look, he no longer remains a hero. In Tere Naam, I shaved off my head. I was the first person to do that. I did it a couple of times later too. The look was accepted.

Your mother (Salma Khan) remarked that you’ll look your handsomest when you turn 70, just like you do in the film.
Really? She said that? Look at her husband. How good he’s still looking
at 84.

Your entry on screen is greeted with whistles, claps… in the theatres. What accounts for this popularity?
God has been kind. I don’t know what fans see in me that brings out this side in them. Also, the kind of films I’ve been doing, remind me of the films I watched as a child. I reacted in a similar way. I always pay attention to what, as an audience, I’d want to see my hero do.

Despite huge-box office returns, your films are panned critically.
It doesn’t matter what’s being said about my films. Some will accord it 5 stars. Some will give it minus ratings. These people have never made a film themselves. And those who have, well, unki film itni buri tarike se piti hai. Critics can write what they want. But don’t be irresponsible. Don’t make fun of someone’s work. Let the audience decide. Let the fans go to the theatres at least. Even if 15 per cent of the audience relies on their reviews, the business gets affected by that much percentage. Maine Pyaar Kiya was made in one crore and eleven lakhs. It was a big budget film at that point. Today the smallest film is made in a budget of at least 25 to 30 crores. You need to recover that

Does the fear of fading stardom bother you?
Stardom will fade eventually. It’s a huge task to keep it going for such a long time. I guess Shah Rukh (Khan), Aamir (Khan), Akki (AkshayKumar), Ajay (Devgn)… we’re the only ones who’ve been able to pull it off for such a long time. We’ll try our best to keep it going for another few years. Then like in the case of all superstars, the box-office collection will come down to eight to 10 per cent. But it hasn’t started yet.

Are you prepared for that?
Yes. (Smiles) But it’s a long time from now.

You once said that you should feel 27, no matter what your age.
You should always maintain an enthusiasm and interest in whatever you do. Otherwise don’t do it. As soon as you lose interest in things and say I’m tired, the old man seeps into a pore in your body. Then he takes over the whole body. So that pore should not be left open for the old man to set in.

Do you find aging scary?
Aging can be scary for anyone. You need to work harder. You’ve got to give your best. You can’t be as undisciplined as you were earlier. You’ve got to get accustomed to the boring discipline, which is not fun. I don’t see Anil Kapoor or Amitabh Bachchan as old. They’re happening. I saw Sanju (Dutt) recently. He’s lost weight and was looking ripped. Each one of us is suffering from some physical problem. Someone has a knee problem; someone’s shoulder’s giving trouble, someone’s neck. Sab installments mein uthte honge subhe ko. But we’re at it.

Has doing action scenes taken a toll on you?
I’ve been doing action so my body’s used to it. But then it does take a toll. Because every action scene has to be rehearsed five-six times. There’s a lot of girna padna involved. From Bharat, I’ve moved on to Dabangg 3, which is all about action and thrill. Every scene demands so much energy ki scene karte karte hi aadmi thak jaata hai. But that keeps you fit and going unless you suffer an injury.

Is it easy to maintain the energy level at this age?
No. It’s not easy. I’ve my own problems. I don’t sleep much. If I didn’t paint or write at night, if I went to sleep early, things would be better. In the morning after having coffee, moving your body bit by bit – in installments as I say – kaam pe jaana padta hai. Sometimes I do cardio. At times, I cycle to work. I do something or the other to stay energetic.

Does a release still leave you tense?
Yes, if the last two-three films haven’t done well. So far, it’s been good. You’d say Race 3 didn’t do well. But it did a decent 170-crore plus business at the box-office.

Tell us a lesser known facet about you.
I don’t sleep much. I sleep for around two and a half to three hours every night. I paint, I write, I watch television. I don’t like switching channels, even if it’s only airing commercials. I get upset if someone comes and changes it. If cricket is going on then I switch it off as I don’t understand it much. But that too after many hours. Even if a South channel is on, it keeps playing. Recently, I find web shows interesting.

Which show have you watched recently?
I watched Game Of Thrones up to the fourth season. Phir break lag gaya because of work. Now I’ll watch the whole season. I just finished watching the series Vikings. It’s outstanding. I’ve watched Taboo, Arrow, Peaky Blinders… Now I want to watch Money Heist.

There’s talk about you producing a web show…
Yes, I might. It’s in the pipeline. There are friends with whom we’ve been unable to do films. So we can do such shows with them. I’m venturing into television not to make money but for more and more directors, producers and actors to get involved. I’m told since we’re just producers; the channel would be taking a call on everything. I might have to get into that bit as well (Smiles).

Any plans of venturing as an actor on the OTT platform?
I’ve been offered stuff. But I’m not sure. Handling three mediums, films, television and the web, would be too much to handle. I want to do two films a year. So I may go back to the way I used to work earlier – doing two shifts.one thing you never take for granted?  don’t take my work for granted. Actually, I don’t take anything for granted.

Katrina said she admires your quality of being fearless…
I’m not fearless. There are some things I care about and some things I don’t care about. That’s not being fearless.

Is there any dream left to be achieved?
I don’t get much time to dream kyunki main zyada sota nahi.

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